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Sudan, Saudi Arabia hold security talks in Khartoum

Defence Minister Awad Ibn Ouf greets Sudanese troops stationed in Saudi Arabia on 29 Nov 2017 (ST photo)

December 30, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Defence Minister Awad Ibn Ouf and Saudi Arabia’s Assistant Defence Minister Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Aish have discussed the latest developments in regional security.

In a Saturdayelease on Saturday, Sudan’s Defence Ministry said Ibn Ouf and Al-Aish met on Friday in Khartoum, saying the former renewed Sudan’s firm stance towards issues of the Arab and Islamic world.

He also stressed Sudan’s commitment to defend the holy sites and protect the two Holy Mosques.

The Sudanese army has been participating in the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen since 2015 in a regional effort to back the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after he was ousted from the capital Sanaa by the Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels.

According to the press release extended to Sudan Tribune on Saturday, the two sides discussed the current regional security and military issues.

“As well as the necessary measures to deal with the ongoing and emerging events to achieve security and stability and protect the strategic interests of the two countries and the Arab and Islamic world,” stressed the press release.

Last week, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan paid a two-day visit to Khartoum. He was the first Turkish president to visit Suda.

Following a trip to the ruined Ottoman Red Sea coastal island of Suakin, an agreement was reached by Erdogan and Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir to rebuild the ruined town and to construct a naval dock to maintain civilian and military vessels.

The announcement stirred widespread reactions among Saudi bloggers who launched a scathing attack on Sudan and President al-Bashir accusing him of handing over the coastal port to the Turks to build a military naval base and help extend their influence in Africa.

Also, the Saudi daily newspaper Okaz published an article titled “Sudan’s Suakin under the control of Erdogan’’ accusing Turkey of seeking to harm the security of Arab countries.

However, Sudan and Turkey dismissed these claim as untrue, saying no agreement was reached to build a military naval base in Suakin.

(ST)